Application of light extinction to determine stability of beef emulsions

D. Álvarez, M. Castillo, F. A. Payne, R. B. Cox, Y. L. Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


One of the major concerns in the meat processing industry is the loss of emulsion stability resulting in cooking losses. An optical sensor technology to control the emulsification process would minimize this problem. The normalized light intensity (IN) as a function of fat/lean ratio (RFL; 0.075, 0.25, 0.33) and chopping time (CT; 2, 5, 8 min) were measured at three radial distances (2, 2.5, 3 mm) from the light source to calculate the optical density (OD) and the loss of intensity (ILoss), using a fiber optic spectrometer. ANOVA results were highly significant for IN, ILoss. Normalized intensity decreased with increased chopping time as a result of emulsion homogenization, and with increased distance. Chopping time had a positive correlation with fat losses during cooking, which in turn had a negative correlation with IN and ILoss. These results suggest that light extinction spectroscopy could provide information about emulsion stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the Séneca Foundation (Consejería de Educación y Cultura. CC.AA. Murcia, Spain) and the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation (University of Kentucky, USA) for the financial support provided by the research projects “Applying optical sensor technologies for determining meat emulsion stability” and “Development of an optical backscatter sensor technology for monitoring and controlling meat emulsification during the chopping process”.


  • Chopping control
  • Fiber optic
  • Light backscatter
  • Light extinction
  • Meat emulsion
  • Optical density
  • Sensor technology


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